Monday, July 15, 2024

Muzzleloader Accessories You Cannot Be Without

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It’s almost June, which means you have just about three months before most fall seasons start to open around the country.

And with more and more states becoming more lenient with respect to muzzleloader regulations, chances are increasing also that you might be getting into the sport.

But it’s a whole different ball game from what you’re used to if you’ve only ever hunted with a breech-loader.

Here are some of the absolutely essential muzzleloading accessories that you will need, at minimum.

Keep in mind that some are action or model specific, though.

1. Possibles bag: This is where you will store all of these muzzleloader accessories. Traditional possibles bags are made from leather, but yours doesn’t need to be. It just has to have room and be well-organized.

2. Ball starter: Don’t use your ramrod to start your ball. Use a muzzleloader bullet starter, preferably one made from synthetic, not wood, as they are tougher and won’t break. Also, make sure you equip the bullet/ball starter with the appropriate loading jag before starting the round (you don’t want to deform the bullet with the wrong jag, this will impact accuracy).

3. Spare ramrod: You read that right. The ramrod your muzzleloader came with may splinter or break, and as you may know, two is one and one is none. Anarchy Outdoors has designed and developed a 3-piece muzzleloader ramrod from high-strength, solid aluminum which breaks down easily and is nearly indestructible. Keep it as a backup in your possibles bag.

4. Ball puller/patch worm: These are not the same. One is used for pulling a ball or bullet if the charge won’t fire, and the other is for pulling patches/wads from the bore if they get stuck in there. Depending on what you shoot, both may be necessary.

5. Loading jag: The tip of your loading jag must be appropriate for your projectile, whether it be a pointed bullet, round ball, or wad (flat, if you are shooting shot).

6. Cleaning jag: Cleaning jags are necessary as some powders are dirtier than others and the bore may need to be swabbed every 3 to 5 shots.

7. Breech scraper: Sometimes, an accumulation of fouling around the breech prevents reliable powder ignition. To rectify this, you need either to remove the breech plug and clean it, or use a breech scraper to get rid of the excess, then snap some caps.

8. Patches: Useful both for cleaning the bore and loading bullets.

9. Powder horn/flask: Powder horns are traditional, but modern powder flasks are easier to carry and often hold even more powder than horns.

10. Powder measure: Necessary if you shoot loose powder, instead of pellets.

11. Powder funnel: Keeping a powder funnel in your bag makes recharging your powder flask much easier.

12. Capper: Necessary for both in-line and sidelock (caplock) muzzleloaders.

13. Pan brush: This one is for flintlock shooters, and is used for cleaning the pan of fouling between shots. You can improvise with a bit of rag, though.

14. Vent pick: Keeping your vent clear is one of the keys to reliable ignition. Flintlock, caplock, and inline shooters should all keep a vent pick in their possibles bags.

15. Cone/breech plug wrench: For removing the nipple/cone of cap-locks or the breech plug of sidelocks. Not always necessary in the field but it’s better to be prepared.

16. Speed loaders (or loading block): A muzzleloader speed loader, which holds your powder charge and prepared bullet in sequence, can cut down on the time it takes you to reload in the field.

Again, this list is not comprehensive and some accessories are necessary for certain lock types whereas others are not.

All the same, this is an excellent jumping off point and if your possibles bag has all these muzzleloader accessories, in addition to powder, primers, and bullets, balls, or shot, you’ll be ready for most of what you encounter come fall.

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